We were out of town, away from our kids, when my husband jolted up in bed and said he needed to get to the hospital. His weird chest pains weren’t something either one of us would take lightly. My mind was already foggy, with it being 5:30 in the morning, but somehow, I managed to throw on clothes and toss current medications and other necessities in a bag while we called 911 and waited for the ambulance to arrive at our hotel.
It is not like the movies at all...he was immediately attended to in the back of the ambulance, with the doors shut to me, the wife trying not to completely panic. Another medic asked me questions that I attempted to answer coherently and then I was directed to sit in the front seat. (You aren’t actually allowed to sit in the back with the patient…is anyone shocked that Hollywood might paint this differently?)
Since we were in town for my sister’s engagement party, I texted her from the front seat of the ambulance…yes, at 5:30 on a Sunday morning…to update her and see if she could help me with getting my car later. My only other thought at that moment was, “We need prayer – lots of it!” So, one lucky friend who was the last one to text me also got a wake-up text to spread the word and get all our “girls” praying like the warriors they are.
These practicalities done, the ambulance began moving in the darkness of the pre-dawn. I stuffed down all tears, thinking that I’d much prefer the driver focus on getting us to the hospital and not on some weepy woman sitting in the passenger seat! And I felt panic clawing at me.
But in the midst of the panic, the fear and the uncertainty, something came to the front of my mind: Psalm 23. When I was a young girl, laying in my bed at night, anytime I’d get scared, the only way I could get myself back to sleep was to recite Psalm 23 over and over and over again. It’s the one section of the Bible I know with the greatest familiarity, so, in a moment when my mind was racing, this one passage came into the fury and stilled my heart.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…” Deceivingly simple words…six brief verses penetrated through the darkness threatening to envelop me. I knew in those few moments of chaos the kind of peace only God can bring. Whatever happened, I knew He was there and He would carry us through. I was hungry for peace because I had none. And God fed me His Word to fill up my emptiness.
And then He just showed off…